5 Great Tools For Managing Social Media

5 Great Tools For Managing Social Media

What’s Covered In This Article

Social media is a normal part of our everyday lives. Through social we can interact with our fans, manage content, launch products, and build an audience. We can also build a brand, create an event, stream live content, interact with influencers and whatever else is needed.

However, managing social media can be a full-time job. If you manage multiple platforms you are required to constantly manage and make content that excites and delights your fans. Without a commitment to social, you’re likely to slip behind other more active pages. Here are a few strategies and 5 great tools to help you manage your social media.

Social media management can command a huge amount of time depending on your audience size. For many small businesses or brand pages I wouldn’t recommend using a big or expensive social media tool for managing your posts or audience.

Often, it’s enough to spend an hour or two per day on social management. A basic toolkit which allows you to schedule posts and see an overview of your audience is often all that you need.

It’s also possible to check social for any mentions of your brand across popular platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You can gauge and create more organic interaction with anyone who mentions your brand.

This allows you to engage in an interactive dialogue with your audience. Which assists in building brand love and good relationships.

Five Great Tools For Managing Social Media

1. Hootsuite

  • Free Plan: 1 user, 3 social profiles and 20 scheduled messages at a time
  • $29 – $599/month play that offers a variety of connecting profiles, unlimited scheduled messages, and multiple users

Hootsuite has long been the gold standard for social media management. It has a huge breadth of approved social profiles. It also allows you to get very granular on how you monitor and interact with those various profiles.  Its sheer volume of options and connections make it an easy pick for a social management tool.

2. Buffer

  • Free: 3 social profiles, 10 scheduled posts per account, image creator and video/gif uploader
  • $15/month: All free tier items plus, 8 social profiles, 100 scheduled posts per account, RSS feed, a social media calendar, and social analytics

I use Buffer for my personal social media management and I love the interface on both the website and their mobile app. I’m also a big fan of their “suggested times”  posting method. This allows you to take the data about which times your posts do the best and turn them into slots on your schedule for posting.

This means when I’m writing out tweets or posts I can simply hit schedule and it will move it to the next predetermined time to be released. I’ve found it takes a lot of the guesswork and anxiety out of deciding when to post your stuff and that in turn saves m a bunch of time.

3. CoSchedule

  • Plans starting at $20/month

One of the things we most struggle with is organizing our content ideas into an easy to read and actionable calendar. Spreadsheets are the old standby, but I think that adds another layer of work I’d rather avoid.

CoSchedule’s main draw is its great scheduling and calendar system. Not only can you schedule social posts, but you can also tie in WordPress or other blogging systems. This allows you to post your site content and social content in the same place.

4. Zoho Social

  • Plans starting at $10/month standard – $50/month professional

For those who use Zoho CRM ( as we do), the social application has been a very pleasant surprise. It provides analytics, customizable feeds, and post-suggestion times that are very similar to Hootsuite’s.

What we love about it is that it’s included in the cost of the overall Zoho product which saves us an additional subscription for the month. If you like the feature set though Zoho Social is also available as a standalone product.

5. Sprout Social

  • Plans starting at $99/month

Sprout stands out from the crowd for two reasons.

One is their messaging. They appear committed as a brand to helping drive social engagement in a much more organic direction.  This emphasis making your engagement more effective means it’s not just a scheduling tool it’s a knowledge base.

The other thing that sets Sprout Social apart from most social tools is that they are also a full-featured CRM. This allows you the ability to turn your social contacts into customers much more easily.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, managing social media involves creating great content that your audience love and also managing your social media. This is the balance between making and managing.

To delight and inspire your audience, great content is a must. This is content that is engaging by being funny, informative or novel. Through embodying these requirements, you can gain new fans and increase loyalty from existing fans.

Managing social can be a full-time job based on the scope or level of your page. I would say that with social, consistency is key. Consistent content and consistent engagement with your fans is always rewarded.

If you are a business and receive a message from someone looking for customer service help, then a responsive and engaging brand page will receive greater affection than a page that doesn’t respond at all. In the end good social media management is often simple but not always easy.

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How Graphic Design DIY Tools Will Make Your Life Easier

How Graphic Design DIY Tools Will Make Your Life Easier

What is a DIY Graphic Design Tool?

A do it yourself (DIY) graphic design tool is an online tool that allows a person with limited design resources to create professional level graphics on demand.  These tools often provide templates, stock photos, and other elements to help you create beautiful imagery for little to no cost.

Top 3 Reasons to Use a DIY Graphic Design Tool

Cost Savings

Marketing budgets are often consumed by design fees for regular content. You can save a lot of money by mastering DIY programs that generate high-quality content easily and regularly.

Graphic designers who can deliver stunning visuals for your online platforms are often very expensive. They also take time, money and management investment.

You also save money by not having to manage designers and ensure timelines are met. This helps you avoid creative differences or divergences in creative vision. Which result in huge amounts of lost time and investment.

Faster Content Turnaround

If you’ve managed an online presence, you know how hard it is to create great content on a consistent basis. The struggle is not only brainstorming new content but also turning ideas into reality.

For anyone who needs content on a regular basis, using DIY graphic design tools allows content to be generated and distributed much faster than traditional graphic designer generated content.

Working with a graphic designer can require a brief, then they send an initial graphic followed by several rounds of revisions.  If you want to be fast and reactive to news or certain topical events, having the skills to create content around these things fast is key.

For simple, regular content as well as special ad hoc pieces, DIY graphic design tools offer the best solution for success.

Develop a Deeper Skill Set

Design skills are always in demand. Learning DIY graphic design tools can gives you firsthand experience creating content. This can lead to the development of a set of design skills.  This might spark an interest in mastering deeper levels of graphic design, which can enhance your ability as a marketer even further.

3 DIY Tools That We Love

1. Canva

  • Free with $12.95/month premium plan for more indepth features

Canva is my favorite of the tools I’ve tried. It has a diverse set of templates that lets you create nearly anything you can think of and all of its basic features are completely free.  Paired with a free image library like Pixabay offers its a very powerful weapon in your arsenal.

Canva offers templates for menus, flyers, brochures, Facebook posts, blog posts and multiple other pre-prepared templates. This makes it very easy to develop content for whatever platform you require.

Once you decide what medium you need your image for, it’s simply a matter of choosing what the look and feel of the image will be. This is made easy through the huge image library and readily available icons, pictures and stock imagery that Canva have.

Canva also offers high-quality photo filters if you need to edit or beautify images you captured. If you need to design something frequently then Canva might be the best option for you, as you can pay for specific images and icons on a piece by piece basis.

2. Stencil

  • Free – $12/month

Stencil is an easy to use graphic design tool that is focused on speed and simplicity. Stencil offer a blank canvas that can be designed with a wide range of graphics, photos, templates and icons that they have in their library.

Stencil have huge amounts of ready to use imagery. Designing a perfect graphic is simply a matter of choosing what you want based on their wide range of options.

Stencil’s free plan is much more limited than Canva’s , but their paid teirshave a lot of intriguing options.

If you need a photo, you can choose from their photo library. If you need an icon then just search the word for the icon you need. When Stencil say that are dedicated to speed and simplicity, they really deliver with their easy user interface.

Stencil also benefits by having social sharing in mind. With Stencil, they offer easy to share features across all the major social networks.

This makes it easy if you manage multiple social profiles to distribute your content.  Another interesting aspect of Stencil is that they offer all-inclusive pricing for their image assets. Without needing to pay for assets on an image-by-image basis, one simple fee allows usage of hundreds of thousands of high-quality images.

 

3. Adobe Spark

  • Free/$9.99 monthly plans/Included as part of Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe’s entrant into the DIY graphics world is a full-featured beast. It includes similar graphic design tools and templates as the other sites on this list, but it also has the ability to create landing pages and even videos.

Adobe also has a leg up in how it handles uploading and importing images. Spark hooks into Unsplash and Pixabay’s giant free library of images. All you have to do is search for a relevant image and essentially drag and drop into your design.

It also allows you to upload your own images, import directly from Dropbox or Google and if you want to license images from Adobe Stock.

I’ve yet to put the web page builder and the video editor through their proper paces, but on the surface, they both add a lot of value to an already valuable service.

 

Wrap Up

In this post, we covered the benefits of developing skills with DIY graphic design tools. We also went over two of the most popular DIY graphic design tools: Canva and Stencil.
 
These tools can be indispensable for cost savings as well as generating great content. You can avoid expensive and time-consuming collaboration with graphic designers for simple work and be more flexible and creative with your design.
 
If you have any favorite graphic design tools that you use yourself please leave us a comment or message us to let us know!

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